After a long period of teasing and playing with shadows, the new Mercedes AMG Project One finally made its world debut as the world’s first road legal car with a Formula 1 powertrain.
Power comes from a reworked version of the hybrid system found in the W08 F1 car, including the turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 engine and no less than four electric motors.
The two front electric motors are state-of-the-art units, being capable of revving up to 50,000rpm when the current best motors in the market rev up to 20,000rpm. The third electric motor is integrated into the turbocharger while the fourth one is mounted directly on the combustion engine.
Each one of the front motors are producing 160hp (120kW), with the electric motor on the engine making the same amount of power and the one mounted on the turbocharger being a 120hp (90kW) unit. Total power output is "over 1000hp".
Mercedes AMG claims that turbo lag isn’t just eliminated with this setup but the response times are now even shorter than those of a naturally aspirated V8. All this was possible not just because of the torque-fill provided by the electric motors but also thanks to the electrically-assisted turbocharger which in turn features exhaust gas and compressor turbines that are separate from each other and mounted at an optimum position to the exhaust side and the intake side of the V6 unit, and connected to one another by a shaft powered by the 90kW unit.
Just in case you haven’t realized it yet, this isn’t your normal boosted hybrid powertrain, this is some next level engineering that finds its way on public roads for the first time. But what does that mean for the acceleration figures? Mercedes AMG says that the Project One is capable of exceeding 217mph (350km/h) flat out but we already knew that. What we didn’t know is that the Project One is capable of a 0-124mph (200km/h) in less than six seconds. That’s right, six.
Other things we’ve learned include a 15.5-mile all-electric range, a drive system that operates with 800 volts instead of the usual 400, a variable all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring and a sizeable lithium-ion battery pack that uses the same cells, arrangement and cell cooling system with -you guessed it- the Mercedes-AMG F1 car. The company also says that under normal driving conditions, the system recuperates up to 80 percent of the energy needed, which is then fed back to the battery.
Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via an all-new automated eight-speed manual transmission developed specifically for the Project One. The gearbox is activated hydraulically and offers both auto and manual modes, with the latter operated via paddles unsurprisingly. A high-strength carbon-fiber monocoque body forms the basis for the car, with the integrated engine and transmission also having load-bearing functions, as both completely support the rear suspension.
The interior gets a pair of 10-inch high-definition displays while the steering wheel with the flattened upper and lower sections hosts the controls for driving modes and suspension setup, the LED shift display and an airbag. There’s also air-conditioning, power windows and a rear-view camera, since there’s no back window.
Mercedes AMG will make only 275 examples of the Project One in left-hand drive only configuration for a price of 2.27 million each ($2.7 million in current exchange rates). All build slots are sold-out at the moment but don’t expect to see the Project One on the streets anytime soon as the company has still 18 months of development ahead of delivering the first production examples.
Post has been updated with live photos from the Frankfurt Motor Show